Schalke v Bayern Munich – Veltins Arena at 17:30 live on BT Sport 1
The Bayern Munich juggernaut continues to march on. Twelve games into the new season and FC Hollywood have dropped just two points.
It’s no surprise to see their 34-point haul breaking Bundesliga records and their goal difference of +33 (F37-A4) really blows the mind when reviewing the Bavarians’ form across the first three-and-a-half months of league action.
Pep Guardiola’s men have scored at least four goals on five occasions in domestic duties already but Saturday’s visitors to Schalke haven’t proven quite as prolific or ruthless on the road. That aforementioned goal difference reduces to +8 (F9-A1) with the ever-impressive partnership of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller often proving the difference.
The fearsome shrike duo have netted 25 league goals between them and they may be called upon to produce the goods again with Douglas Costa struggling to be fit this weekend. The travellers have only notched twice before half-time in their five away Bundesliga outings and will need to work hard to unlock a stubborn Schalke rearguard.
FC Hollywood haven’t lost to Schalke since 2010 with their last nine league meetings recording an aggregate 25-4 in favour of Bayern. Indeed, since Manuel Neuer left the Royal Blues for Munich, he’s never lost to his former side (W6-D2-L0) and whilst we all expect another victory, it may take the all-conquering travellers time to get over the line.
Bayern have been level at half-time in all bar two of their most recent 11 away days at top-six rivals and whilst Schalke have only W0-D3-L3 in their last six (W1-D1-L3 in the Bundesliga), Andre Breitenreiter’s men can protect themselves from total humiliation by displaying a repeat of the dogged and high-spirited performances we’ve been accustomed to under the young coach’s watch.
Midfield all-rounded Johannes Geis remains suspended and the Royal Blues will miss his ability to marshal the middle of the pitch but despite being overrun in many areas against Dortmund in the derby, Schalke stuck to their task valiantly to lose by a single-goal margin.
Back at the Veltins Arena, the demanding and passionate home support will relish their role as underdogs. Since 2010/11, Schalke have lost just 2/91 (2%) of home fixtures by more than two goals and the hosts can be supported with a +2 Asian Handicap start at 1.78 on Saturday evening.
Pep’s Bayern have won 12/39 (31%) of Bundesliga road trips by three or more goals since the Catalan coach arrived but Munich’s most commanding displays this term have come at the Allianz Arena this term and so I’d be surprised if they swatted Schalke aside.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Schalke +2 at 1.78
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